Earlier this week, I faced my worst experience of the year…our house was burgled.
I received a phone call from my boyfriend at 6.30pm, during my “end of rotation” meeting with my supervisor. I thought it was a little strange that he was calling me at this time. “I’m sure I told him I was here?”, I said to myself. I very quickly picked up the phone (having apologised to my supervisor):
“Hey can I call you back? I’m just having my meeting..”
“No baby please don’t hang up, I think we’ve been robbed”.
For a few moments I didn’t say anything. I was trying to process in my mind what he had just said…I found it that hard to believe, that all I could say was “What?”many a time.
My supervisor heard this frantic conversation, realised this was for real and let me go early. I got home to find my boyfriend waiting for me in the car. He called the police and I sat in the car with him, heater on full (this happened to be the coldest day of the year). We hardly spoke, we just wanted to get into our home.
First act of kindness: Calling the consultant on call.
I knew I wouldn’t come into work the next day. Not only did we need time to get over the grief of what had just happened, but there was a lot of stuff we needed to sort out..talking to home insurance, getting a locksmith etc, stuff neither of us were familiar with. I therefore decided to call the consultant oncall (something we’re supposed to do if we know we can’t come into work) and told him that we’d been robbed. He reacted the same way I did when I got that phone call, he couldn’t believe it. But his tone completely changed in an instant: one minute he was my consultant, and the next minute he became my friend. In addition to giving me lots of advice down the phone, he sent me a message the next morning, asking if we both ok and offered his full support, for if we needed him in anyway. I found it so refreshing to see this other persona of him and was most grateful.
Second act of kindness: Letting my team know.
Normally I would have kept this to myself, I would have let my team find out the next day, the reason why I didn’t come into work. However we were already understaffed this week and I was feeling guilty-I thought I should let them know sooner rather than later. I sent them all a message on our group, and the support I received was immense. All sending their wishes and offers of help, I felt so much better, knowing that we had their support. From colleagues they were already my friends, but from friends they became family.
Third act of kindness: Speaking to my ward consultant.
I forced myself to go back to work today, to try to get back into normality again. In the morning handover (where the night doctor tells us about the patients they saw overnight), the team immediately asked how I was doing…and I told them what happened.
Later that day, I ran into one of my regular consultants, one I work closely with on the ward. He could see I was looking sad and upon enquiring, I told him what happened. He was so shocked to hear my story, and related to a similar story in his family. He later told me that if there was anything I needed, I could always call him. By the way, he wasn’t supposed to be in work today. He was offering his help, whilst he was off. No one has ever done that for me in my career so far.
Whilst I write this blog on my phone (they stole my laptop), I reflect on everything that happened. I’m grateful that we are safe and I’m grateful that they didn’t take our treasured things or memorabilia. I am thankful to my friends (and new found friends) for their support in this ordeal and I realised that people who know you, will go out of their way and help you, even if you don’t expect it. The night before my meeting I was restless, I was nervous about how my meeting would go. I never expected to get robbed that day. If there’s one thing I learnt, it’s that things in life are never what you expect them to be.